Fyodor Bondarchuk is one of Russia’s best-known film industry professionals, known for his acting, directing, and producing. Most of his films are action films – and many are sponsored, in part, by the Russian state.
Born to famous Soviet actress Irina Skobtseva and Academy Award winner Sergei Bondarchuk, Fyodor Bondarchuk (Фёдор Сергeевич Бондарчyк) grew up in Moscow constantly exposed to the theatre and film industries. Upon finishing school, Bondarchuk entered VGIK (Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography, located in Moscow) in 1985 and graduated in 1991 as a film director. While there, he studied heavily under Yuri Ozerov, the famous Soviet film director and screenwriter.
In 1990, he began his career as the first Russian producer of music videos. In 1993, he won an Oviation Award for Best Producer of a Musical Video.
Although his acting career began in 1986 with the film Boris Godunov, where he worked with his father, Bondarchuk’s real breakthrough was with his dual role in the 1999 cult film 8 1/2 долларов where he played both characters: Fyodor and Stepan. His acting repertoire skyrocketed from there and he participated in roles that came to define him as an actor, including his role as Count Myshkin in Down House, which is loosely based on Dostoevsky’s novel, The Idiot. But in 2002, Bondarchuk began his career as a film producer with the film In Motion and has since produced over twenty box-office films. These include the 2005 film (in which he also acted) The 9th Company, about the Soviet-Afghan War (1979-1989). This film was critically acclaimed and became the first Russian film to earn more than $25 million.
From his success with The 9th Company, Bondarchuk has made a number of high-profile films including the special-effects filled 2013 film Stalingrad. Greg Foster, then-president of the IMAX Entertainment partnered with Bondarchuk on the film, which was the first non-American film shot in IMAX format.
Bondarchuk is vocal in his political opinions. In March 2014 signed a letter in support of President Vladimir Putin and his decision to begin military intervention in Ukraine after the Euromaidan Revolution and the annexation of Crimea. For this and other reasons, he’s currently on a “black list” of artists maintained by the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture and not allowed to enter Ukraine. He also made videos supporting Putin’s reelection campaign. Bondarchuk also works closely with the Russian state on many of his production, which are often made with state funding support. Bondarchuk continues to produce high-profile films and sits as Chairman of Lenfilm’s Board of Directors.
8 ½ Dollars Trailer (8 ½ долларов трейлер) (1999):
Stalingrad Trailer (Сталинград трейлер) (2013):